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A Chance to Make a Life Change- Collin College Scholarships

A Chance to Make a Life Change - Collin College Scholarships

Mothers often hold a heart in their hands, but Corey Humphrey, single parent of two, literally holds this special organ in her hands at her job as a patient care technician in the operating room at Presbyterian Hospital in Plano.

Humphrey, mother of three-and-one-half-year-old Austin and 18-month Zo', has had to deal with issues of the heart herself. When she was five months pregnant with her daughter, Humphrey's husband asked her for a divorce. Instead of collapsing, she decided to carve out a career for herself to support her family.

"I was frightened, but when you are working toward a goal and bettering yourself and being successful in that, it does so much for your confidence to know the situation you are in is not forever," she said. Not allowing her pregnancy to hold her back, Humphrey started taking prerequisite classes that spring at Collin College to pursue her goal to become a nurse. She found, however, to her dismay that the number of credit hours she had taken in college, years before she got married, prevented her from getting financial aid.

She did all that she could to reduce her expenses. She moved back in with her parents and worked full time while taking night and distance learning classes, but with close to $1,000 a month in child care costs, money was very tight. She needed help.

Through the generosity of others, the Collin College Foundation has been able to give Humphrey, who has maintained a 4.0 grade point average, three scholarships: a Founders Endowment Scholarship, the Patty Burton Memorial Endowed Scholarship and a Tony Howard Textbook Scholarship that have helped to pay for tuition, fees and textbooks.

"The scholarships really helped take the stress off of financial worries that I have now all the time as a single mom," Humphrey said. With determination and hard work, Humphrey was accepted into the nursing program, and this fall she started taking nursing classes. With the money from the scholarships, she is able to afford her nursing books, uniform and equipment. And now she can work part time and go to school full time. Aware of the need in Collin County, one Plano couple, Kim and Bob Nimon who established the Forrest Outreach Foundation in 1999, resolved to better the situation with a $25,000 grant, renewable up to four years, donated to Collin College's Foundation. This money will provide college tuition, books and child care for up to four students.

"Every year I get 50 to 60 phone calls from students who want to attend college, but they cannot without child care coverage," said Vicky Newsom, Collin College associate director of Development.

The college is concerned with the number of students that are in need. To improve the situation, Collin College is hosting An Evening of Monopoly¨ March 16 at 7 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel at Legacy Park, which will benefit student scholarships and academic excellence at CCCCD. Hasbro, Inc, has given special permission for this exclusive North Texas Monopoly¨ fund raiser. Collin County businesses and individuals will participate as sponsors and players. More than 300 people, in teams of six, will play a one-hour game of Monopoly¨. The grand prizewinner will receive a Robb and Stucky's furniture and design store shopping spree.

In keeping with the theme of the evening, TXU will be the "Utilities" sponsor, and other major "Boardwalk" sponsors include: Corgan Associates, Inc., EDS, Eurest Dining Services, Hall Financial, Southwestern Bell, Tangent Computers and Telecom Electric Supply.

But the real winners of this game are the students who will receive scholarships from this endeavor, allowing them to pursue their goals. "[As a nurse,] I will serve the community, and I hope I will be able to repay what the college has done for me by serving others," Humphrey said. "For myself as a single mom, I want the best life possible for my children and education is key to that."

For more information about Monopoly scholarships, contact the Collin College Foundation office at 972-881-5611.

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.